10:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones': 7 Moments of Ferocious Fireworks
Where there's smoke, there's wildfire — and in the sixth season finale of Game of Thrones, there was plenty of both.
The episode, called "The Winds of Winter," opened with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) setting a horrible act of violence into action, incinerating all of her closest and worst enemies in a shocking display of wildfire. The green flames whipped throughout the Sept of Baelor and surrounding areas, claiming the lives of family members like cousin Lancel (Eugene Simon) and uncle Kevan (Ian Gelder), enemies like Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and her relatives, and the greatest foe of all: the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and his Faith Militant.
It's one of the most memorable sequences in Game of Thrones history, certainly the most explosive, but far from the only instance of great drama and ferocious fire fused together. To celebrate Independence Day and the fireworks that come with it, here are seven others:
1. The Birth of Dragons
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) honored her fallen husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) and burned his killer in one fell swoop, walking into the great funeral pyre and emerging from the ashes unscathed — but not empty-handed. This moment in the season one finale changed the game forever, as Daenerys brought dragons back into the world, their existence an ever-present staple in the show.
2. The Burning Dead
How do you solve a problem like the undead? Depending on the variety of zombie, fire works quite nicely, as Jon Snow (Kit Harington) learned in his first fight against a wight. The season one scuffle saw Jon battling one of the White Walkers' mindless minions inside Castle Black, ultimately winning out by burning the thing with fire.
3. The Battle of the Blackwater
Back in season two, long before Cersei's scheme, the Blackwater Bay outside of King's Landing became a veritable fireworks show, torching Stannis Baratheon's army in a horrible blaze of fluorescent green flames. It's the climax of what's easily one of the best episodes of Thrones yet, even as its horror pales in comparison to the wildfire spreading throughout the city itself.
With one simple word, Daenerys Targaryen completely turned the tables on the slavers of Astapor, and proved that she's not someone to be taken lightly. Wielding the High Valyrian word like the sharpest of swords, Daenerys commanded her dragons to incinerate the slavers, all while liberating the Unsullied and rallying them to her cause.
5. Rise of the Khaleesi
In yet another act of fiery fury, Daenerys cemented her status as the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea during season six, decimating Khal Moro (Joe Naufahu) and his allies in a hail of fire. Except this time, she didn't need any dragons on her side. This was pure Daenerys, repeating her season one funeral pyre trick, albeit as a weapon. Once again, do not underestimate the Mother of Dragons.
6. The Battle at Slaver's Bay
It's no coincidence that most of the most memorable fire sequences in Game of Thrones history fall squarely on Dany's shoulders. In the penultimate episode of season six, "Battle of the Bastards," Dany commanded her dragons to turn a ship of slave-hungry soldiers into ash, ruining the vessel and decimating the Masters' cause in one hot move.
7. The Red Woman
Some of Game of Thrones' more frightening fire tactics involve Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who routinely and ritualistically burns non-believers in the Lord of Light and enemies alike. Whether it's a hard-jawed warrior like Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) or an innocent youth like Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram), Melisandre's fire magic is always something to behold — and almost always awful in its destructive power.
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